So we know that what we eat and drink affects our health, our immune system, our energy levels and our shape and size. Yet, we often overlook our nutrition when it comes to the health of our skin. So while you're improving your skin from the outside, why not improve it from the inside as well?! #beautyinsideout
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and like all of our organs, its health is directly impacted by the quality of our personal nutrition.
And what you eat also impacts this organ — your skin.
As science learns more about diet and the body, it's increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect the health and ageing of your skin.
This article takes a look at 12 of the best foods for keeping your skin healthy.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, are excellent foods for healthy skin. They are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining skin health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to keep skin thick, supple and moisturised. In fact, a deficiency in omega-3 fats can cause dry skin.
The omega-3 fats in fish reduce inflammation, which can cause redness and acne. They can even make your skin less sensitive to the sun's harmful UV rays
They're also a great source of Vitamin E (antioxdant), protein (for skins integrity) and zinc (anti-inflammatory and wound healing)
Avocados are high in healthy fats, and these fats are essential to keep skin flexible and moisturised.
One study in over 700 women found that a high intake of total fat — specifically the types of healthy fats found in avocados — was associated with more supple, springy skin. How cool is that!
Avocados also contain vitamins E and C, which may protect your skin from sun damage.
Walnuts are a an excellent food for healthy skin, being one of the richest sources of essential fatty acids (both omega 3 and omega 6) which are fats that your body cannot make itself.
What's more, walnuts contain other nutrients that your skin needs to function properly and stay healthy. Zinc for fighting inflammation and wound healing an vitamin E, C and selenium for antioxidants.
4. Sunflower Seeds
We love nuts and seeds as healthy skin foods and sunflower seeds are an excellent source of nutrients, including vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant for the skin.
5. Sweet Potatoes
So much love for sweet potato and with good reason. Loaded with beta-carotene (which converts to Vitamin A in the body) to keep your skin healthy.
They are also an excellent source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are natural plant-based materials from foods that make it to the intestines undigested, providing a nutrient source for gut microorganisms to grow and thrive; essentially it's just nutritious microbe food. Prebiotics are absolutely necessary to maintaining gut microbiome health.
Like sweet potatoes, bell peppers are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.
They’re also one of the best sources of vitamin C, necessary for creating the protein collagen, the structural protein which keeps skin firm and strong.
Broccoli perhaps the ultimate and very *humble* super food, is full of many vitamins and minerals important for skin health, including zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C.
It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that works like beta-carotene. Lutein protects your skin from oxidative damage, which can cause your skin to become dry and wrinkled.
But broccoli florets also pack a special compound called sulforaphane, which boasts some impressive potential benefits, helping the liver and gut process foods and hormones.
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and all of the major carotenoids, especially lycopene. These carotenoids protect your skin from sun damage and may help prevent wrinkling.
Because tomatoes contain all of the major carotenoids, they’re an excellent food for maintaining healthy skin.
Consider pairing carotenoid-rich foods like tomatoes with a source of fat, such as cheese or olive oil. Fat increases your absorption of carotenoids.
If you need one more reason to eat chocolate, here it is: The effects of cocoa on your skin are pretty phenomenal.
Good quality dark chocolate leads to skin that's less rough and scaly, less sensitive to sunburn and has better blood flow — which brings more nutrients to your skin.
Make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa in order to maximise the benefits and keep added sugar to a minimum.
Green tea may protect your skin from damage and ageing. The powerful compounds found in green tea are called catechins and work to improve the health of your skin in several ways.
Like several other antioxidant-containing foods, green tea can help protect your skin against sun damage. Green tea is also touted to improve the moisture, roughness, thickness and elasticity skin.
The amino acids found in protein-rich foods like meat or eggs are the building blocks of collagen production, which is the structural protein our skin needs to protect against ageing.
Red wine is famous for containing resveratrol, a compound that comes from the skin of red grapes. Resveratrol is credited with a wide range of health benefits, among them reducing the effects of ageing. Some studies suggest this is because of it's antioxidant activity (by slowing the production of harmful free radicals, which damage skin cells and cause signs of ageing).
Unfortunately, there's not much evidence that the amount of resveratrol you get from a glass of red wine is enough to impact your skin. And since red wine is an alcoholic beverage, there are negative effects to drinking it in excess.
It's not recommended to start drinking red wine just because of its potential health benefits. However, if you already drink in moderation, you might enjoy red wine as your alcoholic beverage of choice.